Abit VA6 VIA Apollo Pro 133 - Page 3

First Impressions
I was apprehensive about taking home a board with this deviant chipset, away from the BX I have so loved. But coming from a renowned motherboard maker set my heart at ease, a little.

The board is a good 2 inches smaller than my trusty BX6-II. At first glance, the layout looked clean and functional, featuring the older 5/2/1 slot configuration and 3 DIMMs. Nothing out of the ordinary. This is similar to the configuration found on Aopenís AX63, while 1 DIMM slot short of the Soyo SY-6VBA133.

On closer inspection, you will notice a plethora of colourful ports, plenty more than the usual Ė  and what that means? Onboard audio and gameport! Ok. I am not particularly impressed, but I understand that some could have uses for it. So I leave it to be.

The power connector, like many of Abitís boards, is placed behind the Slot-1 and forces you to pull the cable over the CPU and the memory DIMMs. A minor annoyance for increasing the clutter of cables.

Next, the board also comes with many miscellaneous connectors like the CDROM drive audio-in header (for the onboard audio), 1 InfraRed, 1 SM Bus, 1 Wake-On-Lan (WOL), 1 Wake-One-Modem (WOM), 2 thermistor and 3 fan headers. If that is not enough, it also has a USB header for further expansion if you intend to get 2 additional USB plugs for the machine.

Aside from the above, a major feature is the support of UDMA/66 in addition to UDMA/33, both of which are handled by the South Bridge VT82C686B.

The manual was comprehensive and covered both new and old features, how to set them up and also details the zillions of BIOS settings. The explanations are concise and clear, and the default almost always worked. So letís get down to it!

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